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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

  

TB Notes 1, 2005

No. 1, 2005

TB Patient Management Application Assessment Guide and Decision Tool

Background

The Tuberculosis Information Management System (TIMS) is an electronic system that was designed and developed by CDC to help TB control programs better manage their TB data. However, the patient management module of TIMS was never fully developed, and thus was useful to some TB programs but inadequate for others. TIMS is now being phased out, to be replaced for the most part by the National Electronic Disease Surveillance System (NEDSS), yet state and local programs still need a patient management component. The Patient Management Project was started to address this need.

The TB Patient Management project started with three overarching objectives:

  1. Identify core TB patient management practices and program evaluation activities across programs and document the functional requirements they represent,
  2. Use this information to develop criteria to assess and evaluate existing information system options, and
  3. Provide local and state TB control programs a means to use the results of the project.

The challenges CDC and TB controllers encountered with TIMS validated and reflected the difficulties for any federal agency to develop an electronic “one-size-fits-all” TB patient management system. Thus the TB Patient Management project was designed to evaluate existing electronic patient management systems, not to develop software.

The outcome of this project has been the development of a Web-based assessment guide. The primary purpose of this guide is to assist local and state TB control programs as they seek to select an application that best fits local TB control practices.  The first section of the guide contains background material on many of the aspects of information technology selection and procurement with TB-specific examples. It includes a step-by-step guide to assist organizations as they navigate the process of an evaluation process. Section 2 consists of a tool that can be used to objectively evaluate information systems using the criteria developed by the project or with local modifications.  The results of the evaluation conducted earlier this year are available in section 3. These results represent evaluation outcomes as of May 2004.

The guide, available at infotechnet.org/ntca/, is supported by the National Tuberculosis Controllers Association and the Turning Point Program.  We are very fortunate to be able to partner with the Turning Point Program to host this site and project information/tools.  The Turning Point Program, started in 1997, is an initiative of The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Its mission is to transform and strengthen the public health system in the United States by making it more community-based and collaborative. The Turning Point Program partners have created five National Excellence Collaborative projects, one of which focuses on information technology. The mission of the information technology collaborative is to assess, evaluate, and recommend to national policymakers innovative ways to improve the nation's public health infrastructure by using information technology to effectively collect, analyze, and disseminate information.

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The project could not have succeeded without the dedicated effort of many stakeholders and representatives from local and state health departments.

We also acknowledge the contributions of the TB Patient Management Project staff, including Carol Berglund, Sandy Price, and Cathy Rawls of DTBE and Amy Bakeletz, Teresa Petit Smith, Garth Casdorph, Stephan Lacasse, and Jackalie Blue of Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC).

The products of this project have been developed to support state and local TB control programs.  However, we hope these tools will support similar electronic application assessment needs of local and state public health department staff who are trying to identify IT solutions that address multiple public health issues.

—Reported by Subroto Banerji, MPH
Div of TB Elimination
and Jackalie Blue, SAIC

 


Released October 2008
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention
Division of Tuberculosis Elimination - http://www.cdc.gov/tb

Please send comments/suggestions/requests to: hsttbwebteam@cdc.gov, or to
CDC/Division of Tuberculosis Elimination
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1600 Clifton Rd., NE - Mailstop E-10, Atlanta, GA 30333